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2011 Joint Rules

   Joint Rule 40-100. Fiscal notes. (1) As provided in Title 5, chapter 4, part 2, MCA, all bills reported out of a committee of the Legislature having a potential effect on the revenues, expenditures, or fiscal liability of the state, local governments, or public schools, except appropriation measures carrying specific dollar amounts, must include a fiscal note incorporating an estimate of the fiscal effect. The Legislative Services Division staff shall indicate at the top of each bill prepared for introduction that a fiscal note may be necessary under this rule. Fiscal notes must be requested by the presiding officer of either house, who, at the time of introduction or after adoption of substantive amendments to an introduced bill, shall determine the need for the note, based on the Legislative Services Division staff recommendation.
   (2) The Legislative Services Division shall make available an electronic copy of any bill for which it has been determined a fiscal note may be necessary to the Budget Director immediately after the bill has been prepared for introduction and delivered to the requesting member. The Budget Director may proceed with the preparation of a fiscal note in anticipation of a subsequent formal request. A bill with financial implications for a local government or school district must comply with subsection (4).
   (3) The Budget Director, in cooperation with the governmental entity or entities affected by the bill, is responsible for the preparation of the fiscal note. Except as provided in subsection (4), the Budget Director shall return the fiscal note within 6 days unless further time is granted by the presiding officer or committee making the request, based upon a written statement from the Budget Director that additional time is necessary to properly prepare the note.
   (4) (a) A bill that may require a local government or school district to perform an activity or provide a service or facility that requires the direct expenditure of additional funds without a specific means to finance the activity, service, or facility in violation of section 1-2-112 or 1-2-113, MCA, must be accompanied, at the time that the bill is presented for introduction, by an estimate of all direct and indirect fiscal impacts on the local government or school district. The estimate of the fiscal impacts must be prepared by the Budget Director in cooperation with a local government or school district affected by the bill.
   (b) The Budget Director has 10 days to prepare the estimate. Upon completion of the estimate, the Budget Director shall submit it to the presiding officer and the chief sponsor of the bill.
   (5) A completed fiscal note must be submitted by the Budget Director to the presiding officer who requested it. The presiding officer shall notify the bill's chief sponsor of the completed fiscal note and request the chief sponsor's signature. The chief sponsor has 1 legislative day after delivery to review the fiscal note and to discuss the findings with the Budget Director, if necessary. After the legislative day has elapsed, all fiscal notes must be reproduced and placed on the members' desks, either with or without the chief sponsor's signature.
   (6) A fiscal note must, if possible, show in dollar amounts:
   (a) the estimated increase or decrease in revenues or expenditures;
   (b) costs that may be absorbed without additional funds; and
   (c) long-range financial implications.
   (7) The fiscal note may not include any comment or opinion relative to merits of the bill. However, technical or mechanical defects in the bill may be noted.
   (8) A fiscal note also may be requested, through the presiding officer, on a bill and on an amended bill by:
   (a) a committee considering the bill;
   (b) a majority of the members of the house in which the bill is to be considered, at the time of second reading; or
   (c) the chief sponsor.
   (9) The Budget Director shall make available on request to any member of the Legislature all background information used in developing a fiscal note.
   (10) If a bill requires a fiscal note, the bill may not be reported from a committee for second reading unless the bill is accompanied by the fiscal note or, if required, an updated fiscal note reflecting committee action.

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